Reflections on the Semester and Best Wishes for the Holidays
A message from Stephanie Browner, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Tokumbo Shobowale, Executive Vice President of Business and Operations
As we approach the end of what has been a long and challenging year, we wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt appreciation for all of you. When we closed the campus in March, none of us could have foreseen that nine months later most of us would still be working remotely. As the pandemic continues to take a deadly toll and alter nearly every aspect of our lives, the word unprecedented has been frequently and aptly used to describe our current circumstances.
Throughout this difficult period, we have been deeply moved by the ongoing commitment of our staff and faculty. Faculty spent many hours recording lectures, transforming their courses for an online environment, and advising and counseling students. Staff ensured that all essential processes continued to function, came up with innovative new ways to manage projects, and organized dynamic virtual events that fostered a sense of community while apart. Thank you.
It has been so heartening to see how you have supported one another and our students in the context of upheaval in every aspect of your daily lives. Many of you have had to contend with caring for children and other relatives at home, financial stress, and the sickness and loss of loved ones. Some of you have also continued to make sacrifices to work on campus to ensure that our facilities are maintained and that crucial services are available to students. And as a community, we have had to confront a serious financial crisis and the layoff of valued colleagues.
And yet, we remain hopeful for the future and more dedicated than ever to the spirit and mission of this university as embodied in our faculty, staff, and students. The New School has weathered many storms, and we are confident that it will emerge from this tough time as a stronger and more vibrant institution–thanks to your dedication, goodwill, and ingenuity.
Please be sure to use the upcoming winter break to truly step away and find peace and restoration for the year ahead. And special thanks to those who are accommodating end-of-year deadlines by working for part of this time and taking their break later. COVID-19 is still a significant risk, so during the break we encourage you to continue following all public health guidelines and to minimize gatherings with others outside of your immediate household. This will help keep you, your loved ones, and our New School community safe.
We wish all of you a happy holiday season however you are able to spend it.